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Pennine Way

Information Introduction Postscript
Days 1-2 6-9 10-13 14-18 19-22

Day 3. Black Hill to Standedge - 7.25 miles

We wake to clear blue skies. We can see the marker cairn from the tent! So near yet so far in the thick mist of yesterday. This morning it looks a different place altogether edge of Black Hill We are soon on the path down to Wessenden and after initially picking our way steeply downhill we meet a causey path.

We head toward the A635. We have heard reports of a tea van in a lay-by. Will it be there? Could it be that small white blob in the distance?

view from Black Hillteavan?

Yes!! This is no ordinary tea van. The tea is served in large china mugs and the food is exceptional including home-made cakes. The proprietor has a whistle which he blows as each order is ready so in bad weather customers can sit in their cars while their burger is cooking. No need today. We sit in the sunshine and enjoy two mugs of tea. I have parkin, Charl has a burger.

We take a side road off the A635 and then a track down to Wessenden Brook. Once over the Wessenden Reservoir dam we pass a waterfall. It would be a great place for lunch but we have all ready indulged ourselves at the tea van. We climb up out of the valley along Blakely Clough and at the top turn to follow the slabbed path. It is very boggy here as we find when the slabs run out! We pass between the Black Moss and Swellands Reservoirs (we have certainly seen our share today) and so down to the A62 at Standedge Cutting.

We cross the A62 and soon arrive at Globe Farm our planned destination of yesterday. Ah well, best laid .... as they say.

Day 4. Globe Farm

We awake to the sound of howling wind and heavy rain. According to the forecast this is going to continue and it does. We decide it will be best to stay put. This turns out to be a wise decision as several couples turned back and one individual had to return home after straining a muscle fighting the wind on Blackstone Edge.

We spend most of the day in the tent feeling rather depressed. We have now used three of our “spare” days and have barely started.

We swap many “Black Hill” stories. One Dutch girl, travelling on her own, got stuck fast in liquid peat and began to sink. She said she remembered a survival technique for escaping from quicksand which involves lying on your stomach and using a swimming action. Anyway, she lived to tell the tale. We also note that many people walked round it!

The Globe Farm site itself is worthy of an RSPB reserve and is full of bird tables and feeders.

Well, at least we have done our washing and dried our wet clothes from the first day.

Day 5. Standedge to Hebden Bridge - 15 miles

We leave Globe Farm at 7.00am. The weather is grey. There is light rain and it is very windy and especially gusty on Millstone Edge. We cross the A672 and what do you know there is another burger van. Not a patch on the A635 van but we enjoy a breakfast of sausage baps and tea even be it in the wind and rain. We cross the M62 on a footbridge and proceed on good footpaths to Blackstone Edge.

Along the edge we are continually battling against the wind, there is still rain in the air but conditions underfoot are easy.

The weather begins to improve. We continue on good paths toward the Warland Reservoir where we brew up and have lunch.

from Blackstone Edge weather improves Stoodley Pike Hebden Bridge
It is easy walking up to Stoodley Pike. The wind is so fierce we cannot stand up. We batten ourselves against the wall of the monument for a smoke break. Unfortunately, the leeward side is all ready occupied

There is an initial steep descent and then some soggy walking through pasture. The final stretch is down through beautiful woodland. We reach our destination for the day but discover, after searching for quite some time, the campsite where we intended to stay has closed down! Not what you want to hear after fifteen miles of windy walking. We enter the Woodman have a pint (or two) and decide to stay the night.